Commission Approves I-15 Work in Utah County

Commission Approves I-15 Work in Utah County

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Work on a project to expand Interstate 15 in Utah County could begin as early as June.

The state Transportation Commission on Friday gave final approval for the project, which will begin just months after a massive expansion project in Salt Lake County finished. The Utah County project will fill in the median and add a lane between Alpine and Orem.

"We expected it to go through," Utah Department of Transportation spokesman Brent Wilhite said. "This means we can put it out to bid next week and begin construction as early as June."

Money for the project had been set aside for transportation during the Legislature's general session earlier this year, but senators failed to vote on a bill dictating where the $30 million would go.

The money went to the Centennial Highway Fund, which pays for specific road projects chosen by the Legislature in 1997. Because the I-15 expansion is not a Centennial Highway Fund project, it couldn't be funded with the money.

Gov. Jon Huntsman found a loophole and HB1008 was passed on Wednesday, sending the $30 million into the correct transportation fund.

UDOT is also working on an environmental study to determine a plan for expanding roads and adding transit to the area, Wilhite said.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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